When Alan Rankin joined STADA Arzneimittel almost two years ago as Chief Procurement Officer, he had a clear goal in mind: to draw on his extensive experience at life science giants such as Novartis and BASF to create a best-in-class procurement function at the German generics and consumer healthcare specialist.
What does it mean to have a best in class procurement function? There is no single definition that can be applied to every procurement function in every business in every industry in every part of the world. Procurement maturity and what it means to be best in class is constantly shifting and evolving over time so much that by the time a journey towards maturity starts, the very parameters that a business is working towards will have already begun to change.
This is, in reality, a reflection of the fluidity of procurement. It cannot stand still as the world around it moves which brings us full circle again. The quest for procurement maturity is one defined by the need to be able to react to business needs and in most cases, be one step ahead of them. In order to do that, procurement needs to be better aligned with all areas of the business; it requires a strong team as well as a greater understanding of the responsibility and the role of procurement itself.